Photo Credit: Shimmy Socol
Mind-blowing. Not a description I use often. However, it's the only one I can think to use when it comes to Firekid. Hailing from Muscle Shoals, Alabama, Firekid (aka Dillon Hodges), is the quintessential "Artist to Watch." Not afraid to break the rules, he has a style all his own... and that is a very, very good thing. Firekid blends bluegrass, folk, and EDM in this incredible way that shouldn't work, but it does... in spades. Not to mention his live shows, which are simply electric. Never knowing what is coming next... whether it's a quiet bluegrass song, a booty-shaking cover song in the unique way only he can do, or an infectious song like "Magic Mountain" that grabs hold and just doesn't let go, the audience is just along for the glorious ride. Only one thing is for certain when it comes to Firekid, expect the unexpected.
The Reel Spin: First of all... the name Firekid... Clever. Is there a story behind the name?
Firekid: The music was very different from anything I'd made before, so it didn't make sense to just do it under my own name. When I came to this realization, I wanted a name that brought to mind a rebirth, because I experienced one creatively throughout the process of bringing the project to life.
TRS: Your music is so original it's hard to describe... in the best possible away. It's a little bit folk, a little bit bluegrass, and then there is this really rad hip hop/EDM vibe mixed in as well. For me, it's a perfect blend of all my favorite genres of music. Is that how you developed your sound... blending all your favorites into a genre that is all your own?
Firekid: For the majority of my life I was really only listening to bluegrass. Other genres of music didn't come on my radar until after high school; however, having a limited record collection early on actually works to my advantage, because I can find fresh inspiration from almost anywhere. Today, I couldn't hide or get rid of my bluegrass/folk influences even if I tried, so I embrace it. Any time I try to emulate a new sound that I'm exposed to, I fail, but create something new in the process.
TRS: "Magic Mountain" is incredible. So infectious. What was the recording process like for that particular track? I'm sure you had to feel how special it was even in the studio...
Firekid: I grew up going to a place called "Funland" when I was a kid. It was a small water park a few miles from my house. I can remember noticing that the park lost its charm at night when it was empty and the sun went down. I wanted the song to paint that picture. It was initially a brighter sounding song and mostly sung over major chords. The producers suggested we make it darker and change the chords progression. I'll never forget the result.
TRS: For anyone that hasn't seen your live show, it is simply a must. On your softer songs, the audience is so quiet and attentive, and then when you turn it up a little... you definitely bring the party. And... I'm not gonna lie, your cover of Beyoncé's "Single Ladies" blew me away. Your spin on it is so much fun. Do you have a favorite cover to surprise your fans with live?
Firekid: We try and mix up the covers that we play to keep people guessing. Basically, nothing is off limits. The more unorthodox the better. Our goal is always to play a new cover every night.
TRS: You're going to be playing this year's Hangout Music Fest. Excited?
Firekid: We are beyond stoked! This will be the first big music festival any of us have been a part of, and we'll get to see quite a few of our heroes perform.
TRS: Any idea when we can we expect a full length album?
Firekid: We are planning on putting out a live EP in the next couple weeks. The full length will be coming out April/May.
For more on Firekid:
Website - firekidmusic.com
Facebook - facebook.com/firekidalabama
Twitter - @firekidmusic
Interview by Pamela Thomas